Skogenby at UK Games Expo

Highlights from our Torchbearer session:

We played with the five iconic characters, Gerald, Karolina, Beren, Taika and Ulrich.

We had the party enter a kill conflict with 3 skeletons after Ulrich made one flee and they won with no compromise after whittling them down and defending.

The players even earned checks!

They grabbed the ewer and divined the purpose of the room. In the room with the sarcophagus Taika became sick through the madness of the symbols on the floor, but identified them and knew their value. The party spotted the trap in the ceiling and rigged up Beren’s grappling hook with Gerald’s rope and pulled the lid off from a distance. The trap triggered with everyone at a safe distance.

Also scouting Taika and Karolina spotted tracks to the wall that the fleeing skeleton left. Beren looked for traps and the door mechanism and with the knowledge of the small hole inserted an iron spike into the sleeping gas hole which made the trap ineffective when it was trigged, although it made a nasty bang!

The group were suspicious of the alcoves and suspected skeletons and wanted to go through the large oak door into Hathor Vash’s chamber but they failed to sneak by and the skeletons with the axes followed and started axing the door that the players sealed.

Hathor Vash made some demands and failed to domintate Karolina so Jora and the skeletons attacked. The party were all hungry and thirsty at this time so it really effected their disposition. They wanted to capture Jora and exceeded her might and the skeletons. They won this with a compromise for which I used conditions.

The group still hadn’t camped and the skeletons on the other side of the door wouldn’t let them.

Hathor Vash failed to possess Gerald and the group removed all the cursed treasure from their persons.

Karolina used her hunting skill and Beren’s labour to rejig the horse scaffold and the discarded weapons into a barricade trap and when the skeleton’s broke through she finished them off with her spear.

Hathor Vash fell impotent having had all her servants removed and no means to possess anyone. The party loaded up their sacks with gold and silver and protected Jora as they decided to leave the dungeon battered but rich.

But they hadn’t camped yet so they decided to do that part of the game as well. So I rolled on the unsafe underground camp table and got a 2. Disaster! Monsters attack. So they lost their checks and over wandered the crawling ooze. The party elected to flee and once again the hungry condition (that they were expecting to relieve) blasted their disposition. On the second round (not volley) of the conflict characters had been rounded up and suffocated by the crawling ooze.

I explained that I couldn’t just kill them by the mechanics of the game and they could continue to test even in truly dire circumstances but the group agreed they had been bested and would be killed by this new foe so in the absence of conflict the characters all died a meal for the dreaded creeping ooze of Skogenby.

Edit: The game ran about 40 minutes short of the allotted time so it wasn’t that the time pressure forced them to choose death to finish the game on time. They just felt like that was the natural conclusion to such a conflict.

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Sounds like you dinged them each 1 point for hungry and thirsty? That condition reduces the group’s disposition by 1 if any party member has it. It’s not -1 per hungry and thirsty condition.

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Oh seriously? I thought that might have been the case so I tried looking it up in the session.

I read the hungry and thirst description on page 76 but not the conditions in a conflict on page 79.

Still the most comfortable I have felt running torchbearer.

Just curious if any interesting Twists came up?

Not really, the players succeeded a lot when I had twists in mind. I had them planned in line with the material. Last week I ran it as a practice run and we had a massive cave in, the corpse candles showed up, my possession attempts were successful and torches were made wet.

The biggest one this time was the skeletons trapping them the boss room.